Bringing together a crew that shares your passions and values is the most important thing you will do when it comes to getting your term charter business up and running. The wrong crew can result in disaster and low profits for your business. Vetting the people for your team is a non-negotiable step. From there, it’s up to you to organize s ongoing mentoring that ensures your guests are happy and well taken care of.
So what are the characteristics and attributes of a well-rounded crew and captain? With a term charter, you can only have so many people aboard your boat. This means that you’ll want to find people who are multi-talented and bring a diverse range of experience to the table. Of course, it helps to have a crew aboard that enjoys having their hands in a few different things.
It’s not enough for your crew to be specialized in one specific task. Here are the most important skills and know-how to keep in mind while vetting people for your charter.
This of course, is the most important. The safety of your crew, your guests, and your boat relies on people with sure-handed and confident boat handling. Physical strength and someone who can keep their head on a swivel is essential. Does your crew have a keen sense of their surrounding environment? Someone who gets overwhelmed by a lot going on may not be the best person for the job.
Someone who can help prep, clean, and even mix up a drink is going to be a great person to have aboard. Especially if you have a bigger group, the chef may need some help in the kitchen. While knowing how to cook a 5-course meal is unnecessary, knowing the basics of preparing and serving a meal will come in handy. Encourage your chef to educate your crew on the different nuances of the ingredients being used, so that the crew can share those details with the guests.
Keeping guests entertained and engaged requires people with strong and likable personalities! During the hiring process, keep an eye out for people who have strong emotional intelligence. People who can read a room and mirror the characteristics of the guests is essential for making people feel at home. Ideally, you’re looking for an extrovert (someone who doesn’t tire from conversation with others) and a great storyteller. Your crew should be able to fascinate the guests with tales of the local culture and giving them tips on what to look out for in your local destination.
Miscellaneous tasks sometimes fall into the hands of whoever has the capacity for it. A strong crew member will take on responsibility for these sorts of things in a proactive manner. For example, members of your crew can play the role of marketing. Encourage them to snap photos for social media if they’re handy with a camera. Of course, every task you hand over to your crew should align with their talents. You don’t ask someone who has never used a camera before to be your social media photographer.
Playing to each crew member’s strengths will ensure that your team is happy and you get the best results possible. During the vetting process, find out what their passions and talents are. You never know what sort of skills someone brings to the table that will benefit your guests.
Under the realm of admin, accounting and managing bookings typically falls under the responsibility of the boat owner. This includes expense tracking, payroll, banking & cashflow, and reporting. If you are not outsourcing these sorts of things to a management company, it helps to arm yourself with the tools to make your job as simple & straightforward as possible.
Junglebee makes it easy to see all your bookings and download tour reports for your financial records. We also have some terrific partners who can help you with the other operational tasks if you need support.
Once you find your crew, it’s important to make them feel like part of a family. What are some ways you can keep the inner-team relationship strong? Team building is just as important here as it is in any other type of business. A lack of trust out on the waters can spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for you and your guests. We encourage you to come up with some sort of team communication guidelines that prevent a buildup of resentment between you and your crew members.
Most importantly, the last thing you want to do is spread your crew too thin. While a go-getter attitude is important, make sure to draw clear lines on your expectations for each role. If your staff burns out halfway through the busy season, it will be a mad rush for you to find someone to replace them, which could result in loss of bookings.
Best of luck finding a top-rate crew for your term charter! If you’re just getting started, be sure to check out our other article: What to Consider Before Operating a Term Charter Boat